Grad School Week One

13Aug12

Last week was my first week of classes at Columbia College Chicago (colum.edu). Ever since Loretta and I moved from San Francisco I’ve been sitting in anticipation. The closer the day came to start, the more anxious I got. Starting something new is always a little nerve-wracking. But, once class started, all my tension went away.

I was surprised to learn that of everyone in the class I have the most on-set experience. I was expecting to come into a class full of seasoned professionals. The week was pretty easy. We got to know each other, we had our first shoot, and I even learned something new. Let me walk you through the week:

Monday:
Name game. Introduction to film terms and hierarchy. Basic information, but it was new info for the less experienced. We also went over the beginnings of story development.

Tuesday:
Shoot prep and camera workshop. Tuesday we got our first video shoot assignment (to be shot the next day); so they also gave us a crash course in how to use their camera. They went over shot scale and composition. I basically slept through the lecture. But, prepping for the shoot was good.

Wednesday:
Shoot. We shot our projects in groups of four. Each person was required to write a less-than-60-second script and direct it. Not too difficult, right? WRONG! We had to do in camera edits and I had to use their camera with zero DoF. Anyway, here’s my project (all I did was trim the ends and throw fades onto the beginning and end). With only a day for prep, and only 2 hours to shoot, I’m pretty happy.

Wait from Jeremy Widen on Vimeo.

 
Thursday:
We spent the whole day critiquing the shorts. 33 of them. With 10-15 minutes of discussion. Thursday was a long day.

Friday:
Analyzing story using MICE (Milieu, Idea, Character, Event). This was the only new thing I learned all week. YAY! I learned something! We also received our pairings and assignment for our next shoot.


Overall, the first week was pretty easy. I look forward to what comes next. And I can’t wait to start shooting projects that have more than a week of prep.

On a side note, I’ve decided that I’m going to try to get a part-time job at a rental house here in Chicago. I think that’ll be the best way to generate income, while in school, and still being a part of the industry. Loretta and I are working on some promos to send out to potential places. More on that to come.

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